It wasn’t long ago when we saw Nick Foles lead the Philadelphia Eagles past Tom Brady and the New England Patriots to their first NFL Championship in franchise history. With the regular season only a month away, and preseason games on the way, analysts with The Athletes Hub have teamed up to make a list of the ten best games of the 2017-18 season. Which games made the list? Let’s find out:
10. San Francisco 49ers defeat Chicago Bears (Week 13, 15-14)
In his first official start of the 2017 season, Jimmy Garoppolo turned both Marquise Goodwin and Trent Taylor into 90-yard receivers. Although he was shaky at points, the 49ers converted a 3rd-and-9 play into a 34-yard reception to set up the go-ahead field goal with 5 seconds on the clock.
The game was the first of five consecutive wins for Garoppolo, as the hype continued to surround the 26-year old. He finished the season with 1,560 passing yards, 7 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions with a record of 5-0 under center.
9. Packers 20 point 4th Quarter against the Cowboys (Week 5, 35-31)
Everyone loves a great comeback, and the Green Bay Packers were able to stun the Dallas Cowboys with a huge last quarter to win in Dallas. Aaron Rodgers ended up playing well without needing to be spectacular, while Aaron Jones and Ezekiel Elliot both ran for 100+ yards in the battle of the running backs.
Dak Prescott thought he had won the game with just 73 seconds left on the clock after a 12-yard touchdown run to send Dallas ahead. It would not be the case though, as Rodgers sent Green Bay screaming down the field before throwing the winning pass to DaVante Adams with just 11 seconds left to record a memorable win in Dallas.
8. Cincinnati upset Baltimore to send Buffalo through (Week 17, 31-27)
In the final moments of the 2017 regular season, the Cincinnati Bengals found a way to hold on against the Baltimore Ravens, which sent the Buffalo Bills to the postseason for the first time since 1999. This game was a tough pill for the Baltimore crowd to swallow, as they saw their postseason hopes vanish in a matter of minutes, even after they found a way to overcome their slow first half.
Overall, this game will be remembered as the game that “broke the Bills playoff curse”, yet the game that ensued (Blake Bortles vs Tyrod Taylor) may have set the game of football back a few decades, due to its underwhelming quarterback play.
7. Chaos causes an Oakland miracle (Week 7, 31-30)
In an AFC showdown between the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs, this game is most remembered for the scuffle that led to the ejection of Marshawn Lynch. In a situation where Lynch should have been on the bench, he instead went onto the field, got himself involved, and made apparent contact with the referee.
This was one of the more underrated games of the season in which Derek Carr connected with Michael Crabtree as time expired to score in the front corner of the end zone. After the extra point was converted, Oakland came away with a victory to keep them afloat at that moment with a record of 3-4.
6. Jacksonville upsets Big Ben and the Steelers (AFC Divisional Playoffs, 45-42)
This should have been the golden ticket for the Steelers to get their revenge on the Patriots after what happened in week 15 (we will get to that). Instead, Jacksonville ended up stealing the show despite a passing clinic from Ben Roethlisberger and some dynamic work from Antonio Brown.
Leonard Fournette recorded three touchdowns, while Blake Bortles remained composed to take the Jaguars to the AFC Championship game. The 28-7 lead for the Jaguars just before halftime was too much for the Steelers, despite their best efforts and it would be curtains on the Steelers season.
5. 61 yards and a rookie kicker wins it for Philly (Week 3, 27-24)
The wild finish of Eagles’ kicker Jake Elliot kicking a 61-yard field goal as time expired will live on in Philadelphia for quite some time. This was just one of the many magical moments that spurred the momentum of the Eagles 2017-2018 championship campaign.
4. LA and San Francisco combine for 80 points (Week 3, 41-39)
This contest between the Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers actually tallied more points than the previous Super Bowl (74 points). In a season where expectations were minimal for Jared Goff and Brian Hoyer at the time, the two combined for 624 passing yards and 5 touchdowns. The running game, led by Todd Gurley and Carlos Hyde, totaled to a combined 197 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns as well.
After scoring with 2:17 in the fourth quarter, the 49ers failed to convert a two-point conversion. Pinning the Rams to a 3rd-and-10 situation, Gurley busted out a first down, sealing the game and improving Los Angeles’ record to 2-1 at the time.
3. No catch ruling grounds the Steelers (Week 15, 27-24)
It was the biggest call of the regular season, with the Pittsburgh Steelers arguably getting robbed of a huge win at home which would have cemented the top spot in the conference. Big Ben sent a touchdown pass over to Jesse James from 10 yards out, only for the touchdown to be overturned as James did not have complete control of the football before the ball hit the ground.
Fans and commentators alike ended up flabbergasted, as two plays later, the Patriots picked off a pass inside the end zone to claim a huge win in the grand context of the season. Social media went off, as did NFL commentators all over the nation.
2. Stefon Diggs walks off the Saints (NFC Divisional Playoffs, 29-24)
Minnesota fans could not have been any more ecstatic for Stefon Diggs after the infamous “Minnesota Miracle” over the New Orleans Saints. Diggs was clearly one of the better players that propelled the Vikings NFC Championship push, yet the team came just one game shy of Super Bowl glory. However, all was not forgotten after Diggs recently inked a wealthy five-year extension to remain with the Vikings for the foreseeable future.
Stefon Diggs got a $15M signing bonus, plus this year’s base is guaranteed. So, $16.9M fully guaranteed. https://t.co/tYs5toCKGY
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 31, 2018
1. Eagles clinch their first Championship (SuperBowl LII, 41-33)
Devon’s Take: Not only was this one of the most entertaining Super Bowls in NFL history, but it also was one of the biggest upset in sports history as well. Before the season started, Vegas gave Philadelphia +3500 odds to win the Super Bowl, compared to New England, who was listed at +300. This allowed for Philadelphia to cement their placement as a contender in the NFL, and could very well cement an upcoming reckoning in the NFC East for years to come.
Adam’s Take: I was glad to the see the Philadelphia-faithful have their day in the spotlight by securing the franchise’s first Super Bowl. If for nothing else, the Eagles were able to take the “Patriots Dynasty” down a peg or two, as Nick Foles did everything in his power to ensure that the Eagles would walk away as victors.
Luke’s Take: When Carson Wentz went down with his ACL injury, I went on record to say that Nick Foles would send the Philadelphia Eagles out of contention in record time. In result, Foles became the one to take the Eagles through the playoffs and upset the Patriots dynasty in the biggest game of his career. The “Philly Special” will forever be remembered in Eagles folklore, as will Foles and Doug Pederson for making the call. The 53 men who were on the game-day roster for Super Bowl 53 will also be in Eagles folklore as the first in franchise history to win the biggest prize in the NFL.
So there they are, the ten best games of the 2017-18 season. Our three analysts have given you their takes, but do you agree? Let us know on Twitter @HubofAthletes.